Senatorial candidate and labor leader Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog urged Senator Panfilo Lacson to withdraw from the presidential race if he persists on red-tagging rivals and other political groups.
In a tweet, Labog said the national elections seek to choose an inclusive president, including activists like him.
“Senator @iampinglacson, mag-withdraw ka na lang. Hindi ito eleksyon para sa Pambansang Marites,” Labog wrote. (You better withdraw. This is not an election to look for a National Gossipmonger.)
Labog added they can not endorse Lacson’s candidacy.
“Ayaw mo sa amin, mas ayaw namin sa iyo,” the Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson said. (You don’t like us, we don’t like you more.)
Labog was reacting to Lacson’s allegations that communists have infiltrated Vice President Leni Robredo’s campaign for the presidency, urging his rival “to take appropriate actions” against it.
Activists, many of whom are supporting Robredo’s candidacy, have called Lacson’s statement as red-tagging.
The Makabayan bloc that is fielding Labog and Bayan Muna president Neri Colmenares in the race for the Senate are endorsing Robredo.
Meanwhile, Robredo denied allegations that she is forming a so-called coalition government with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“To be clear: This is a lie,” Robredo said.
The Vice President said her candidacy is open to everyone who is ready to work to improve the lives of Filipinos.
Robredo said the disinformation and (black) propaganda are targeting members of the uniformed services who are supporting her.
“You want to derail the People’s Campaign’s momentum? Try harder. Better yet, why not join us instead?” Robredo said.
‘No chance of winning’
The CPP for its part slammed Lacson, saying he is merely serving the “tyrant” Rodrigo Duterte’s scenario-building to justify the possibility of imposing martial law as a last resort option to secure power.
“The presidential candidate Lacson, who surely is aware that he has no chances of winning, is using his campaign as platform to serve as Duterte’s attack dog against the Robredo camp,” the CPP said in a statement.
The group said Lacson, a former police general and alleged martial law torturer under the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, is a veteran of red-tagging against activists and oppositionists.
The former fugitive was also reported to be behind the Rizal Day bombing of 2000 to derail the mounting protests against the then Joseph Estrada regime, the CPP added.
“For the record, neither the CPP nor the NDFP has forged any agreement with any of the political parties running in the May 2022 elections. Neither are the CPP or NDFP concerned with discussing a ‘coalition government’ at this time,” the CPP said.
“The NDFP, together with various peace advocates, have only publicly expressed hopes that the people will support a candidate that will resume peace negotiations with the NDFP in order to discuss the socioeconomic and political roots of the current civil war,” it added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)